Coös County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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Guide to Coös County, New Hampshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, military records, and other records.

Coös County, New Hampshire
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Coös County
Location in the state of New Hampshire, United States Genealogy
Founded December 24, 1803
County Seat Lancaster
Address Coös County Courthouse
PO Box 309
Lancaster, NH 03584-0309
Phone: 603.788.4900
Coös County Website

Coös County, New Hampshire Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1803 1803 1803 1887 1887 1887 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1866. General compliance by 1901.

County Information[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records. A courthouse fire destroyed the probate records that existed before 1885. The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1887. The Register of Probate has probate records from 1885. The Register of Deeds has land records. See notes below under Land Records.[2]

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Bartlett 1790
Cambridge 1773
Colebrook 1790
Columbia 1797
Dalton 1784
Dummer 1773
Jefferson 1796
Kilkenny 1774
Lancaster 1763
Millsfield 1774
Northumberland 1779
Stratford 1773
Stewartstown 1799
Success 1773
Whitefield 1774

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

  • The name Coös derives from the Algonquian Indian term meaning crooked, the Indian name of the Connecticut River, which rises in the northernmost end of the county.
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Coös County, New Hampshire

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1803 December 24, Coös County was created with northern portion from Grafton County, organized at Berlin as the county seat. [3]
  • The seat was moved to Town of Lancaster.[4]

Description[edit | edit source]

Coös County is located in the northern region of the state. The name Coös derives from the Algonquian word meaning "small pines".[5]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1886, the Coös County Courthouse burned on November 5. Some damaged records were saved, for example some deed volumes were saved. Many damaged deed volumes where transcribed and they are on films available at Family History Centers.You can study the Inventory of the County Records ($) of New Hampshire, No. 4. Coös, which is online at This explains which records remain.

Because many county records were destroyed in 1886, you will want to check town records such as birth, marriage, and death records. Those records were kept by the town clerks and were not destroyed. You might find helpful clues about your ancestors in the filmed Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850. (See Town Records section.)

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

New HampshireMaineVermontQuebecCoos CountyGrafton CountyCarroll CountyOxford CountyFranklin CountyEssex CountyHadley's PurchaseSargent's PurchaseCutt's GrantBean's GrantChandler's PurchaseCrawford's PurchaseCarrollLow and Burbank's GrantThompson and Meserve's PurchaseMartin's LocationBean's PurchaseGreen's GrantPinkham's GrantDaltonWhitefieldJeffersonRandolphGorhamShelburneLancasterKilkennyBerlinSuccessMilanStarkNorthumberlandCambridgeDummerOdellStratfordMillsfieldErrolErving's LocationColumbiaWentworth's LocationDixvilleColebrookStewartstownDix's GrantSecond College GrantAtkinson and Gilmanton Academy GrantClarksvillePittsburgChathamConwayBartlettHart's LocationJacksonLivermoreLincolnFranconiaEastonLandaffSugar HillLisbonLymanLittletonBethlehemBridgtonFryeburgSwedenLovellStowStonehamWaterfordSouth OxfordGileadBethelHanoverNewryAndoverNorth OxfordUptonMagalloway PlantationLincoln PlantationRangeley PlantationRangeleyNorth FranklinWaterfordConcordLunenburgKirbyGuildhallVictoryGranbyBurkeEast HavenNewarkMaldstoneFerdinandBrunswickBrightonBloomfieldLewisAvery's GoreWarren's GoreNortonAverillCanaanLemingtonCompton CountyStanstead CountySherbrooke CountyFrontenac County
Modern town borders in Coös County, New Hampshire. Towns with records are named in black. Unincorporated green places usually lack records.

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Besides Cambridge, Dixville, Millsfield, and Wentworth, no one resides in the unincorporated communities below (as of 2013). Click here to see a map showing the location of the unincorporated places.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
NHGenWeb Archives WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project FamilySearch Places
Billion Graves
See New Hampshire Cemeteries for more information.

The organization provides a way for you to request that a volunteer will take a photograph of a gravestone. Often a volunteer will respond and will e-mail you the photo and add it to the web site. See also that internet site for photos and information about ancestors' gravestones.

The New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association has the most complete list of cemeteries.

See also the following internet sites:

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 3,991
1820 5,549 39.0%
1830 8,388 51.2%
1840 9,849 17.4%
1850 11,853 20.3%
1860 13,161 11.0%
1870 14,932 13.5%
1880 18,580 24.4%
1890 23,211 24.9%
1900 29,468 27.0%
1910 30,753 4.4%
1920 36,093 17.4%
1930 38,959 7.9%
1940 39,274 0.8%
1950 35,932 −8.5%
1960 37,140 3.4%
1970 34,291 −7.7%
1980 35,147 2.5%
1990 34,828 −0.9%
2000 33,111 −4.9%
2010 33,055 −0.2%
Source: "".
  • 1810 - In the 1810 Federal Census there were 3,991 residents. By 1870 there were nearly 15,000.
  • 1790-1940 - Censuses for 1790 through 1940, except for the 1890 population schedules, are available on several internet sites, such as and ( is available free at Family History Centers.) You can also search most censuses at at Family History Centers.
  • 1890 - The 1890 census, except for the list of Civil War veterans or their widows, was destroyed by a fire in Washington, D. C. in 1921. One help for 1890 is the Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire, published in 1892 in Boston by the D. H. Hurd Company. The atlas has maps for almost every city, town, and village in New Hampshire. The maps show the locations of homes, and the map gives the name of the person living in the home. The above web site is from the University of New Hampshire Library. Not all of the website map images have legible home owner names.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

If you know the name of the town or city, and the denomination, you may wish to contact the historical society in the town where your ancestors lived. They may have volunteers who can send you the names and addresses of churches of that denomination for the town.

Or, if you know the town of residence and the ancestor's denomination, see the Church Records section in the general information in the New Hampshire wiki article. That section lists archives and other record keepers for the various religious denominations.

If you do not know the denomination, search for a marriage record. This may give the name of the minister. Then you can contact a historical society and learn at which church he was the minister. Also search for an obituary, which may mention the church the person attended. The death certificate may list the name of the cemetery. You can then write to the cemetery and ask if it is affiliated with a local church. The death certificate may mention the funeral home. Their file may have the name of the church, cemetery, or a copy of the obituary. Also, relatives might know the denomination.

Different churches contain a variety of types of records. Many churches keep baptism, marriage, and burial records. Sometimes birth and death information is included. The church records of brothers and sisters, etc. may give clues.

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

  • Records of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Berling, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

On 1 July 2011, the New Hampshire legislature merged the District Court, Probate Court and Family Division Court into one Circuit Court system to improve the court system and to improve services. Jurisdictions for the Circuit Court are the same as their prior jurisdictions. There are now ten (10) circuit courts, one for each of the states counties. Some of the largest counties have more than one circuit court clerk assigned to manage divisions in more than one city or town. The locations of the district, family, and probate divisions are listed by county and/or town at: New Hampshire Judicial Branch.

The court records can be found at the courthouse.

1901-1920 - There are films of court records available through the Family History Centers of the Family History Library. Following is a link to a collection of court record films available from the Family History Library that includes indexes for the records for 1901-1920:

Directories[edit | edit source]

City and town directories are available for many towns in New Hampshire. Contact the local historical society to see if they have them for the years you need.

1928-1930 The Family History Library has some city directories also. Film 2,310,391 item, 2 for North Country (New Hampshire) Directories has city and town directories for several Coös County towns, for 1928-1930. Click on the link to see a list of the towns.

1821-1989 Some city directories are also available at Do a search in their card catalog for city directories. Ancestry appears to be gathering city directories for the time period 1821-1989.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Carroll CountyGrafton CountyEssex CountyQuebecOxford CountyNH COOS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

To learn about New Hampshire gazetteers, go to the gazetteer section in the New Hampshire article in this wiki. That section mentions New Hampshire gazetteers published in 1823, 1849, and 1874. Those gazetteers can be found on microfilms at the Family History Library. Check at your Family History Center to see if they already have the microfilm you are interested in.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

How to get started?

1. Check and go to the Family Tree and see if your ancestor's information is listed there.

2. Check and see if your family's vital records of births, marriages, and deaths are listed.

3. Check and see if your family is listed on the U. S. census records of 1850-1940. You can also see those censuses at the Family History Center using Heritage Quest, and

4. If you know the county where your ancestor lived, take a look at the free internet site USGenWeb Project. A volunteer helper gathers information about ancestors who lived in that county. You might find biographies, cemetery records, deeds, obituaries, queries, vital records, etc. You can leave a query.

5. If you know the town where they lived, look for a town history with a genealogical section. See the section below for how to find out if there is a town history.

6. Read the wiki articles on Coös County, and on New Hampshire, for ideas of sources. Study the Records Selection Table in the New Hampshire article. This can help you think of new sources to try.

7. Enter your ancestor's information on the Family Tree,, or You can also share your quest with the local historical society, genealogical society, or town library and ask for help. Send them a family group form and a pedigree chart related to your present search..

Town Histories often have Genealogical Sections

Following is the name of the one Coös County town history book with a genealogy section:

History of the Town of Stratford, New Hampshire, 1773-1925, by Jeanette R. Thompson. (FHL book 974.21/S1 H2t; FHL film 1321380 item 11.)

Contact the local historical society in the town where your ancestors lived. Ask if they have a town history or collection, with family history information.

History[edit | edit source]

There are history books for many of the towns in Coös County. Major libraries that have family history collections may have the books. For example, the Family History Library has histories for the following cities and towns in Coös County and many are available on films: Colebrook, Dummer, Errol, Jefferson, Lancaster, Milan, Pittsburg, Randolph, Stratford, and Whitefield.

Check with the local historical society as they may have histories.

The New Hampshire State Library in Concord, New Hampshire has a vast collection of books about New Hampshire towns and counties. Check their internet catalog for a town of interest.

The New Hampshire Historical Society also in Concord has a very large collection of local history books and other publications.
Following are example of histories. The ones for Coös County and Lancaster are available in digital images on the internet:

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Deeds records for Coös County are at the courthouse. Microfilms of deed records are available through the Family History Centers. Deeds for the period 1803-1885 were damaged in a fire, however those that were readable were transcribed (see Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd edition, 2004, page 436). The following are the FamilySearch Catalog titles for deeds, including the transcriptions of the burned records. Also see the 1861 land ownership map:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Many major libraries have maps and atlases for New Hampshire. See the New Hampshire wiki article, Maps section, for information on New Hampshire maps. Local historical societies can be a valualbe source for local maps.

1861 - There is a land ownership map for 1861 for Coös County available on Family History Library fiche 6079665. This gives the names of persons who owned pieces of land. You can view the centers where the microfilm is available on the

FamilySearch Catalog.

NH Coos.jpg

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of theNew Hampshire State Papers. You can go to, and look for New Hampshire State Papers with the link to There you will find a name index to voloumes 14-17, then you can go to the needed volume and page for information on the soldier. Often the place of residence is given.

For a military history of New Hampshire, see:

Potter, Chandler Eastman, The Military History of the State of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: McFarland and Jenks, 1866. (Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.) You can search this book on-line by going to Look for as the internet way to search this book. This history comprises events from the first settlements in New Hampshire to the rebellion in 1861. It includes biographical notices of many of the officers and explanatory notes.

Online Records

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

See Potter's book above for information on the War of 1812.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Coös County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are many companies or regiments that were formed from men of Coös County.

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies H, I, and L.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company G.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company B.
- 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company H.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and F.

Additional Resources for soldiers from Coös County: is a free source for locating names of Civil War soldiers and sailors. is available free at FamilySearch Centers and is also valuable for finding names of soldiers and sailors.

You can go to and search for names in The Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, by Augustus D. Ayling. This book gives the age, residence, and service information about approximately 32,000 New Hampshire Civil War veterans. The book is also available on microfilm or microfiche from the Family History Library.

Town history books are available through the Family History Library, and other large libraries, for many of the towns in Coös County. They often contain extensive information concerning the war and the soldiers. For example:

World War I[edit | edit source]

A very helpful source for World War I is an index at of World War I draft registration records, 1917-1918. All men between ages eighteen and forty-five were required to register. Their birth date and place, address, and sometimes the name of nearest kin, are listed on the card. Many of these men served in the war.

World War II[edit | edit source]

There is an index on of the 1942 World War II draft registrations for New Hampshire, of men forty-five to sixty-five. Some of these men served in that war. The records contain name, address, birth date and place, name of kin or friend, name and address of employer, and signature. (See for further information.)

Naturalization[edit | edit source]

The following naturalization records can be found on the FamilySearch Catalog:

Naturalization Records, 1888-1900; Index to Natruralizations, 1886-1930. These are on two Family History Library films. These films contain petitions for naturalization.

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The New Hampshire Newspaper Project was organized to collect newspapers from many New Hampshire cities and towns. See their list. The newspapers are at the New Hampshire State Library at Concord, New Hampshire.

A helpful internet site for locating newspapers is:

Another way to find newspapers is to contact the local historical society or public library. Often they have the older newspapers.

Finding More New Hampshire Newspapers[edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Coös County, New Hampshire Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The probate records for 1803 to 1885 were badly damaged in a fire (see Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd edition, 2004, page 436). For background on existing records see the Inventory of the County Archives of New Hampshire, No. 4. Coös County. This is available online at See the Archives section above which has a link to that record at That inventory states that some probate information is included in deeds involving property.

Coös County probate records are at the courthouse. Many probate records are available on Family History Library films, such as the index for 1885-1992, and the probate packets for 1885-1931:

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Many town tax records have been preserved by town clerks and town tax officials. Town tax records were generally taken each year. The Family History Library has many town records on microfilms. For film numbers of the town records see the FamilySearch Catalog under New Hampshire - Grafton County - [name of town] - Town Records.

There is an index to the town records (which include many tax records) from the early settlement of the town to about 1850. This is the Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850 [FHL films 14942-15052]. The index cards list volume and page numbers for the town records, many of which are on Family History Library microfilms. When you see M. R. on a card this indicates there is a marriage record. When you see F. R., this indicates there is a record of family members. has online images of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax lists for New Hampshire and many other states for 1862-1866. Only persons who owned businesses, or valuable items such as carriages, were listed. You may wish to check to see if your ancestor was listed. The record gives the person's name, town of residence, business or valuable item, and amount of tax.

Town Records[edit | edit source]

Town records are an important source of family history information from the 1600s to about the 1940s. The early New Hampshire town records to about 1850 have an every-name index on Family History Library microfilms, Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850. The film numbers are given above in the Taxation section. Many town records are still in the town offices and many have been microfilmed.

To see what types of information might be found in town records please see the New Hamsphire wiki article, and look at the Town Records section. Birth, marriage, and death records of many New Hampshire towns and villages are available on-line at, That site has birth records early to 1900, and marriage and death records, early to about 1948. Many of the town birth, marriage, and death records were microfilmed and are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Online Records

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Certified copies of of birth, death, and marriage records are available from the State Division of Vital Records Administration or from the local city and town clerk where the event took place. Original records are kept by the city or town clerk and copies are sent to the state.

In 1905, when the state created the Bureau of Vital Records and Health, printed cards were distributed to the local clerks and earlier vital records were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the state.

Online Records

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries, and Societies[edit | edit source]

The book, Inventory of the County Archives of New Hampshire, no. 4. Coös County (FHL book 974.21 A3, film 1,415,263 item 3) was prepared by the New Hampshire Historical Records Survey in 1940. It contains a listing of the various records in the courthouse, and years for which they were available in 1940. You can view this valuable inventory online at Some of the records are available on Family History Library films.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coös County, New Hampshire. Page 452-453. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 436.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coös County, New Hampshire page 452, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Coös County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,ös_County,_New_Hampshire accessed 25 September 2018.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Coös County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,ös_County,_New_Hampshire, accessed 19 November 2018.